In the last section, I mentioned our two avatars, and how they represent different stages of the Hero’s Journey (initiation and resolution) and the gap between them.
Larry represents the beginning, and the first thing you should know about him is this:
His demographics (outward-facing characteristics like: sex, age, income, ethnicity) are essentially irrelevant to the work we are doing here.
(Which is why he’s a yellow cartoon.)
Our focus isn’t on the exterior, but on the interior — on his psychographics. The dreams, fears, aspirations, desires that echo within Larry.
Think about it like this…
If I dream of living in Bali for 3 months out of the year, that desire springs from my psychographics, right?
My income level determines my ability to pull that off, but it has absolutely no effect on the internal reasons for my desire.
It is psychographics that draw the line between those of us itching to break free from 9-to-5 jobs and those content with the status quo. Our dreams have their roots in these.
Larry dreams big.
The status quo, the daily grind, it’s not for him.
He craves a life that’s meaningful, a life lived on his own terms.
(That’s something Larry and I have shared since childhood.)
But there’s a snag.
Larry doesn’t know what to do. He can see his dream, but the path to it? That’s as clear as a foggy morning.
He’s tried learning online, but the internet has become a seething wasteland of shallow information, ignorant gurus, snake-oil salesmen, and get-rich-quick systems.
Anyone entering that hell-scape is guaranteed an endless assault of “secrets to success” until they raise the white flag…
Or go broke.
Larry gets these offers daily.
He’s shelled out more than he’d like to admit on charlatans, tricksters, and their silver-tounged false promises.
I can relate.
When I first ventured out on my own, even with my extensive background in marketing, I fell for many of the same gimmicks.
Because of my experience in the field, I assumed I would be immune to the con — that I would automatically know better.
But I was young, naive…
Caught up and swept away.
It started as a trickle, then a stream, then a deluge.
In the rush of my buying bender, I forgot my fundamentals (for a long time), and ended up resorting to a potpourri of hacks, classes, and “solutions” — each ending up about as useful as a chocolate teapot.
I hopped from one shiny object to the next with a reckless abandon, oblivious to the impact or effectiveness of my actions.
I wanted quick, easy wins, nestled comfortably in my cocoon, ignoring the slow but steady grind of real success.
I was a fortune hunter.
Even worse, I was getting enough pats on the back from clients and “the entourage” that I was blind to glaring issues lurking right under my nose.
(My success only made me more headstrong.)
One of my mentors (bless you, André) laid it out like this:
And I was running in circles, trapped in this pattern, over and over, again, and again, and again.
As a result (and there’s no sugar-coating it), entrepreneurship had been a truly grueling journey for me. Every step of the way.
If we mapped the common experience to the Hero’s Journey, our hero would be stuck in the same kind of constant loop, running through steps 5-9, in the perpetual cycle below:
As rookie entrepreneurs, we tend hit that moment of Crisis and, rather than forging ahead, we look for a new “shiny object” and restart the cycle, until we hit another roadblock.
Larry, like many of us, has become fabulously skilled at a lot of things, but none seem to matter when it comes to making consistent amounts of money.
He’s always doing the best he can but, without knowing it, he’s been his own worst enemy from the beginning, because…
He’s been given a flawed mindset, a broken mental model.
Through no fault of his own, Larry finds himself unable to scale the mountain of success — so his hopes, his dreams, his goals, will always seem to be just out of reach…
Unless he’s willing to take a leap, to embrace change.
Let’s meet our second avatar…